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Stress busting foods and supplements

I was on the Global News Morning Show this morning and I spoke about various foods and supplements to reduce stress and anxiety over the holidays. This has
Dec 12, 2011 | Joy McCarthy

I was on the Global News Morning Show this morning and I spoke about various foods and supplements to reduce stress and anxiety over the holidays. This has benefits - because all you will want to do is kiss under the mistletoe instead of yelling at the kids or your spouse. :) Here are my top picks below!

Dark Berries

They are loaded with vitamin C! This form of vitamin C is loved by your body because it's a WHOLE food, plus you get the antioxidants that help deliver the C where it needs to go. Eat more blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and buy them frozen when they are not in season to avoid buying from far distant lands! Vitamin C is significantly reduced when shipped thousands of miles. Vitamin C helps to nourish, repair and restore the adrenal glands. The adrenals are those little glands that sit atop your kidneys and pump out mainly cortisol, the stress hormone.

Pumpkin Seeds

A source of zinc which gets drained from anxiety and lack of zinc can promote anxiety too. Low zinc also af Both nuts and seeds are a source of zinc. Now don't go popping zinc supplements unless you've spoken with a certified nutritional practitioner, like myself, that supplementation is required. 

Lemon & Water

Yes, I might sound like a broken record here but lemon and water is beneficial for stress too for 2 reasons: 1. It's a source of vitamin C and 2. It is very alkalinizing. Stress promotes tissue acidity and this is something you want to avoid because acidic tissues are a magnet for disease. You might be confused about lemons but while it's pH as a fruit might be acidic, it has an alkalinizing affect on the body as a whole. 

White & Green Tea

Good quality tea is like a mega-watt dose of antioxidants which help the body better deal with stress, but the reason I spoke about it in this video is because tea is a source of an amino acid called L-theanine which helps the body relax and also, improves attention and focus. If you feel scatter-brained over the holidays with all the errands you need to do, grab a cup of tea from my fave tea shop Davids Tea! (Of course chamomile and passionflower are very calming to the nervous system too, but you already knew that right?).

Avoid stimulants

Okay I know you might love your morning java, but if you suffer from anxiety then sipping back that caffeine is not the best thing for you to do! What goes up, must come down. Caff might give you that high you love, but it doesn't last and you are left drained and feeling more frazzled than if you just avoided it in the first place. Now you may detoxify it very efficiently and don't find you get the shakes, sugar/carb cravings and a drop in mood, then please still exercise moderation with it. Sugar is in the same category, but I suggest you avoid all refined sugars. Not only are they nutrient-dead and energy zapping (I'm talking pop, candy, processed chocolate, cookies and various sweets) but they promote a blood sugar crash - HELLO anxiety.

Rescue Remedy

I LOVE this stuff! I've written about it on my blog before because I've used it myself. Years ago I was a nervous-nellie. I used to be SOOOOOO shy! I came out of my shell with age, but in my early-mid 20's I certainly used this when I had to do presentations or if I found myself in a stressful situation. It really works wonders. It's essentially flower essences and you can read more about it here. You can buy it as a spray, lozenge or dropper. You can also get it for your pet too! Got a nutty dog? Put some drops on their food. It's completely natural and safe.


I love this supplement because has NO contraindications as far as I know, meaning it's safe to take for anyone and I've had excellent success with my clients taking it. It is a herb from Russia and it helps you adapt to stress. Because of the fact that it's an adaptogen, that means it doesn't have an immediate effect. You take it over a few weeks and it slowly builds up and supports the body during times of stress. It's particularly useful for those who find they get angry or irritated when stressed out. This is my fave brand here.


Ahhh! :) The calm this provides is absolutely wonderful. Magnesium, being a potent anti-stress mineral gets drained when you are burning the candle at both ends so to speak, working too many hours and being a stressball. It helps you get into a deep phase of sleep which is essential for the body to regenerate and repair. It's a mild laxative, so don't take too much! Read the package instructions for dosage recommendations. Here's the brand's website. If you don't have this where you live, then you can just buy magnesium citrate.

Do you have any secrets to kick stress to the curb? Share them in the comments below!

Food Babe   •   December 13, 2011

I love rescue remedy! Have a container of the chews at my desk at work... oh yeah... so prepared :)

Joy McCarthy   •   December 14, 2011

5 quick remedies to look fabulous and fresh by New Year's Eve | Pure Natural Mom   •   December 29, 2011

[...] Dark berries, such as raspberries and blackberries are packed with Vitamin C, which is responsible for repairing and restoring the adrenal glands that produce cortisol, the stress hormone. [...]


Alenushka   •   March 28, 2012

Hi, Joy. Can you tell the difference in chelated magnesium? Is is any bettre than regular?


Carrie Kelleher   •   January 22, 2016

Hello Joy! I have a tendency to get migraines and my neurologist recommended taking B2 every day (which I know has helped in the past). Can you please recommend a company that you trust where I could buy online? Thanks!

Kate McDonald Walker   •   January 22, 2016

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